Pneumonia Symptoms .org

Learn About Pneumonia

Prevention of Pneumonia

Cold is easily and commonly transmitted by shaking an infected person’s hands. Everyone have to wash his or her hand after coming from outside and before eating. Every-day use soap is good. Waterless hand cleansers that contain an alcohol-based gel are effective for every day use and may even destroy cold viruses. Daily diets should contain foods like fresh, dark-colored fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and also other important aiding chemicals that help improve the immune system.

Therapy to clear secretions and deep-breathing exercises help prevent pneumonia in patients at high risk, such as those who have had chest or abdominal surgery and those who are debilitated. Patients with Pneumonia also should clear secretions, which can be done by practicing deep-breathing exercises and therapy. If patients with pneumonia are short of breath or their blood oxygen level is low, supplemental oxygen is provided. Even though rest is an important part of treatment, moving around and getting out of bed and into a chair are encouraged.

Some vaccines will help prevent pneumonia in children, the elderly, and patients with diabetes, asthma, emphysema, HIV, cancer, or other chronic conditions:

  • Pneumococcal vaccine (Pneumovax, Prevnar) prevents Streptococcus pneumonia.
  • Influenza vaccine prevents pneumonia and other infections caused by flu viruses. It should be given yearly to protect against new viral strains.
  • Hib vaccine prevents pneumonia in children from Haemophilus influenzae type b.

Many types of pneumonia can be prevented with the use of vaccines. Vaccines are available to guard against pneumococcal pneumonia – pneumonia caused by the bacteria Haemophilii influenza – and pneumonia caused by the influenza virus, which also often leads to a secondary bacterial pneumonia. People above age 65 and people in high-risk groups are advised to take the pneumonia vaccine. This vaccine is effective in approximately 80 % of healthy young adults; but, it may be less effective in persons in high risk groups. Although healthy adults usually need only one shot for life-time protection. People with a chronic medical problem are encouraged to take the vaccine every 5 to 6 years. Some health professionals recommend that everyone above the age of 65 years take vaccine every 5 years

Influenza vaccine: Pneumonia is a common complication of flu (influenza), so getting an influenza shot every fall is good prevention for pneumonia.

Pneumococcal vaccine: It helps fight the pneumococcal bacterium; a vaccine is available for people at risk, usually persons who:

  • have chronic illnesses for example heart disease, lung disease, kidney disorders, sickle cell anemia or diabetes.
  • are getting well from a severe illness.
  • are in hospitals or other chronic care facilities.
  • are above 65 years or older.

Pneumonia usually occurs as a complication of ordinary respiratory infections; so, an important preventive measure is to be ware to any symptoms of respiratory trouble that linger more than few days.

Children usually take routine immunizations against Haemophilus influenzae and pertussis (whooping cough) from upto 2 months of age (The routine injection DTaP’s ‘p’ stands for pertussis immunization.) Vaccines now are also given for the pneumococcus organism (PCV), a common cause of bacterial pneumonia.

Children with chronic illnesses, who are at high risk for other types of pneumonia, may receive extra vaccines or protective immune medication. The influenza vaccine is aggressively recommended for children with chronic illnesses such as chronic lung or heart disorders or asthma, as well as otherwise healthy children. Since they are more at risk for serious complications, infants who are born prematurely may be given treatments that temporarily guard against RSV, which can lead to pneumonia in younger children.

Physicians may give prophylactic (disease-preventing) antibiotics to prevent pneumonia in children who have been exposed to someone with certain types of pneumonia, such as pertussis. Children with HIV infection may also get prophylactic antibiotics to prevent pneumonia caused by Pneumocystis carinii.